Monday, August 31, 2009

Oops forgot!

See, I should never take cold and flu meds before I blog-

I forgot The blog tour continues!!! Today I'm over at the wonderful L. Diane's Spunk on a Stick talking about perseverance and perspective- come on over and leave a comment!

August 31

I am halfway or better through my latest project. It's been a lot of fun to switch genres and play with kids stories. The research is the best part. While I write, I have been reading middle grade stories, researching the place, the weather, the science and what the grade levels learning goals are. I have immersed myself in 5th and 6th grade. Meanwhile my plucky hero is certain a mystery is afoot in his fabulous new world.

(Woke up sick today, so am on cold and flu meds... does it show? ;)) Cheers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30

I blogged on blogs having a theme and a purpose on my Sunday blog. If you follow this daily blog I hope you see that the theme and purpose of this blog is a daily note of hello and an inside glimpse into my life as a writer and the view from my window. This is the place for family, friends and readers to get to know me a little bit better. It is off the cuff, so to speak, and much less formal than my Sunday "Writer's" blog.

So- off the cuff-this morning I woke up to see the big blue heron standing at the edge of the lake just a few yards from my house. It was unusually cool this morning and I imagine the frogs were slower, so the fishing was easy. The water birds here are lovely. It is a rare treat to sip coffee and watch them fish against a backdrop of the rising sun. I hope your Sunday is as lovely as mine. Cheers!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29

Lots of errands to run today, so I'm a bit behind. It's also deadline day for the Master's program. I think I'm set, but I do need to double check.

I want to share that the blog tour continues on Monday! I'll be over at L. Diane's blog - I'm so excited to give all writers a bit of a pep talk and give the back story to how Mr. Charming found a home.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28

It's the last Friday in August, another cool and rainy day. I love to listen to the sound of the rain as it hits the trees, bounces off the leaves and falls to the ground or splashes into the lake. The rush and gurgle as it accumulates in the gutters and races toward the culverts, falling to the pipes below. Rainy days are their own miracle--ask anyone who lives in drought. The plants perk up, drawing in the last bits of energy before they grow dormant for the winter. Some people view rain as sadness. But I see the joy in it. The refreshing feel of cool water on your skin. The bright colors of rubber boots and fanciful umbrellas.

So, what if it's extra work getting mud off the dogs' feet. I'm warm and dry, sipping tea and marveling at the nature just outside my window. Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27

Fun news. I received another great review for Mr. Charming. Night Owl Romance gave the book a 4.5 stars out of 5, reviewers top pick. The reviewer actually said..."wow"... It's been three years since I've had a book reviewed and I forgot the little high you get when someone likes your work. I felt a bit like Sally Field at the Oscars, "You like me. You really like me." LOL

Then I remembered that I need to be saving all of these reviews. You see, I forget to do that. Then when an editor or agent asks for reviews of my work, I have nothing... yeah. So, I need to copy and save them all in a word file. My daughter said I need to have a working archive. Ha! I don't even have a copy of all my books- I keep giving them away.

So- hint to all my writer friends, get a file folder and print out a copy of all your reviews -good and bad- and file them away. they are good for marketing and querying. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26

It's rainy here and dark. I have the office lights on and my second cup of coffee in hand. And still I had to double check today's date. LOL. I have no idea what day it is. I am certain it comes from living half my life in another world, plus working in my home office without a real need to know whether it is Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Thank goodness for the time and date stamp in the lower right corner of my screen.
I do have a giant desk calendar on the top of my desk, but it is currently covered with a 5 page action scene I need to mail out for a chance at a scholarship, two pages of grade five standards of learning in science (research for my middle grade book in process), under that is a 1910 Book of Knowledge opened to page 110 with a series of riddles entitled Little Problems for Clever People, (also for wip) under that is three pages of lists of agents I've contacted, who have contacted me back along with a list of agents to check out. Then under that is the desk calendar with plenty of notes. Under today's date-mail out 30 pages to MA mentor which I did on Monday. Whew!
Now you know my organization system... what is yours? How do you tell the days apart and keep your work organized?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25

With all the craziness that is a writing career- the ups and downs- one thought makes it all worth while for me. It was a thought expressed best in the movie Julie and Julia- in the scene where Julia Child packs up her finished manuscript and pauses... she wants to drink in the moment...the possibility that the editor will love the book...that it would be a great hit...that others would read it and understand and share in her joy.
It is that moment that I live for...the moment where anything is possible. The moment where I see friends and readers reading the book- loving the characters- laughing and crying and sharing in the worlds in my head.
It's a moment you don't get in other professions...a moment that makes all the disappointments seem like dust in the wind. So, here's to those moments. May all your possibilities come true!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24

Why does the writing community "put down" small press writers? Readers don't care who publishes you. They care about a good story.
I suppose it is because some small presses don't properly edit and so the quality "seems" lower. But then again I've read some long time best sellers who needed a good editing. So is there really a quality issue or is it only perceived?
Well, books don't count unless you make big money- unless you hit a list. Wait- doesn't that hearken back to my Sunday blog about probability which showed that even when money is given at random people perceived that the person who was paid more was better somehow...
Okay, so you're better (read that as more important) if you're found in brick and mortar stores... except the biggest growing segment of today's market is online book stores. Plus, there are many self pubs in bookstores...and I know that Harlequin is perceived to be lower quality and they are in bookstores. (Notice I said perceived...they are a highly successful brand...) So, why the stigma in small press?
No offense, people tell me, but anyone can get published with your publishers...sigh. None taken, I reply. I wrote a good that found its market in small press. Oh, so you're "just" a small press writer...maybe...maybe not... markets change. If I can get my book into reader's hands, isn't that most important? Or should I hold on to my stories...stick them under the bed...don't let anyone read them unless I hit the "real publisher's" market? I've always said this and I mean it-and will continue to mean it when I hit a list- :)- If you've completed a story, polished and edited it. Congratulations! You are an author. Everything else is probability and luck and therefore does not diminish what you did.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23

I am afraid I'm slipping on this daily blog. I feel as if I've been doing flyby blogs. You know, quick, hellos but to busy to talk kind of things. That is just plain boring and hardly value added for you the reader. After all if you are taking the time to visit and read, I should take a moment and add something to your day. So, mea culpa, for the recent flybys. :)

Let me ask, how is your writing going? This is a hard time of year...what with the change of season, school starting, parent teacher conferences, Sunday school start ups, soccer, football, band, etc. Do you find that you have put your writing on hold? Kids and life and family should come first-always. I'm a big believer that living your life is more important than a self imposed writing deadline. So, don't despair. But if you are guilt wracked from not writing, take a deep breath. Keep a notebook or a small tape recorder -some mp3 players will record- and write a sentence or take a note when you are waiting in the school pickup/drop off line or during those five minutes before the game starts. Look for opportunities in long lines at the grocery store, those waits outside the classroom for your turn to go in...use them to your favor. Write a sentence, a paragraph, a page. Every little bit adds up. Cheers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22

I want to take a moment and wish my Mom, Frances Kozicki, a Happy Birthday! (And no, 73, is not old.)

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Saturday~

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21

I'm sitting in the early morning sun. The glare is such that I can't quite see my screen. And yet there are thick blue gray clouds in the sky... clouds that are different from hazy summer clouds. These clouds are telling me it's colder up there. The burning bush shrubs have all turned red. Poplars are shedding yellow leaves...hints of fall. Most of the grass, shrubs and trees are still green, but the air is cool. Our two weeks of summer are fading fast. :) Maybe I want it to fade. Autumn is my favorite time of the year. The chill in the air, the smell of pumpkins and gourds and fallen leaves, the taste of fresh apple cider...all favorites.

What is your favorite season?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20

Happy news today- Mr. Charming received a 4.75 stars out of 5 star review from Heather's Books. If you want a chance to win a copy, go to and leave a comment.

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19

Today I'm taking a train into town to meet my aunt for lunch. She has a four hour layover on her trip and it worked out so we would have time to meet and see each other. It's been a year since I've seen her, so it will be nice.

Hope you all have a happy Wednesday filled with joy~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18

It's warm sitting here with the sun beating down on my shoulder. I am not going to complain, even if the glare is hard on my screen. This angle of sun through the window doesn't last long and I've learned to appreciate every phase. The middle grade story for boys is moving along. I hope to hit page 80 today--rough draft pages, of course. But pages all the same.

On a sweet note, it was brought to my attention that Mr. Charming is back at number 10 on the Wild Rose Press bestseller list. I like to think of it as the little e-book that could.


Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17

Today is the third stop in my mini blog tour. I'm the spotlight author at Heather's Books. Heather and I are Facebook friends and when I mentioned putting together a blog tour, she contacted me straight away. Heather does fabulous book and movie reviews on her blog. Today I'm the spotlight author and tomorrow she will post a review of Mr. Charming.

If you get a chance, please stop in and leave a comment. Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 16

Sunday morning and the living is easy. :) There is a warm summer breeze coming through the windows. The lake ripples. Insects buzz. Everything feels lazy and wonderful. I fancy a picnic and a good book. So, for today, I'll walk away from the new writing project and simply let the day unfold. I wish for you the same!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15

The middle of yet another month! Sheesh... The petunias and status that I planted on my porch pots are overgrown and spindly. The stores are filled with fall mums. My first thought's too early. But it's not. Its nearly September. Kids are returning to school. The sun is inching toward the Fall angle and I am hopelessly lost in my head. Part of the joy and madness of being a writer.

On a happy note, I was awarded a new blog award from Linda Kage. She said it was due to my diligently writing every day. (hopefully I'm not too boring.) Which was very sweet. Thank you!

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14

Yesterday I found gluten-free lasagna noodles on the store shelf. I've been gluten-free (No wheat, malt or barley) for nearly a year and so it's been a while since I've had lasagna. I bought the noodles, the mozzarella, the ricotta cheese, onion, oregano, hamburger...and went looking for pasta sauce. Where i discovered Newton's Own Vodka Sauce- what a giggle. Who thought up putting vodka in pasta sauce? Hmmm. The bottle gave a little story about a man drinking vodka running into a woman with a pan of pasta get the idea. I was laughing so hard. The best part was on the label splashed across the front were the words..."Industrial Strength." *me shaking my head*

It was good for a giggle, but no, I didn't buy it. I bought organic garlic and olive oil sauce. By the way, the lasagna turned out fabulous! Wishing you good cooking and laughter!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13

The Wild Rose Press has started a bi-weekly marketing newsletter to be sent to readers loops, writers, groups, etc. The fun news is that Mr. Charming is featured on the first one. Here's the link: http://www.thewildr osepress. com/publisher/ newsletters/ Rose_Clippings_ Aug_10-09. pdf

I've seen so many authors who put a great deal of work into promotion. Sigh. I have never been good at door-to-door sales. (I never even liked to go trick or treating as a kid....going door to door.... what if you insulted someone? What if you-like Charlie Brown- only got a rock? It's too much pressure. I didn't need candy that bad... LOL) Promotion feels like that.

There is a huge debate in the writer's circles as to whether any of it does any good...because books are an impulse buy item. They say the best a writer can do is write a good book- and set up a website. I hope I've done that. My friends pester me to do more-so there's facebook (Friend me if you haven't-and I do have a fan page *blush*) and twitter and myspace. I try to keep up... it's a start any way... Okay- off to do what I really love- write!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12

Most of you probably already know this, but I checked the Wild Rose Press Bestseller list this week to see if the 16 new releases knocked Mr. Charming off the list and was delighted to find that the book had actually moved up to number 9~ How fun is that?

I mean as far as bestseller lists go it's really small potatoes, but it is also encouraging to see that hard work does pay off...even in little bits and snigs.

Today I'll finish chapter three of my new middle grade project for boys. My goal is to have a draft done by the end of the month and shipped off to my nephews-grades, 7, 4 and 3-for a first read.

Meanwhile, agent rejections keep coming in and more queries keep going out. Thus is a writer's life. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11

There is a yellow finch that is enamored with the screens on the windows of my house. For the last two days, it has been hovering and checking out each and every window, including the one over my shoulder. I think he's clearing off the summer bugs...or maybe he wants inside where it's cool?

Does anyone know what the myth is if a bird keeps knocking at your window? Is it that someone is coming to visit? Or good fortune? Let me know what you know.


Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10

Today is the second stop on my mini blog tour. Linda Kage has hosted Mr. Charming with a wonderful interview of the heroine, Jennifer Sumner.

If you get a chance to day, pop over and say hi!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 9

I just finished a movie review on my Sunday blog. I had started it here, in my personal blog but then thought it might be a better fit with the bigger audience and the writer's life and craft blog. So I put it up there. If you get a moment go visit,

This morning is hot and humid and summer! Yay! A great blue heron waded through the edge of the lake and blinked at me. Hot coffee, cool church, the smell of the Sunday is good. I hope the same for you. Cheers!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8

I think the blog tour over at Sia's went well. She gave Mr. Charming a very nice review and was a charming host, herself. :) My next tour is Monday and I'll have specifics then. Today is about chores and details for the MA program. It's supposed to be dangerously hot out today, but I woke up to rain, rain, rain. I'm not going to wish it away if it keeps the heat down.

I hope you have a great Saturday. Cheers!

Friday, August 7, 2009

August 7

Wow- having Internet wonky troubles again today. Sigh. And it's my first blog tour day! (figures, doesn't it?) LOL

If you get a chance hop on over to Sia McKye's blog- she gave Mr. Charming a fabulous review. Please leave a comment and let her know you were there.

Other fun news- I saw yesterday that Mr. Charming was number 10 this week on the Wild Rose Press best seller list! Woot! Thank you to everyone who helped put the book on the list. I hope you really enjoy the book! Happy Friday, everyone~

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6

I started on a new project. I thought to myself yesterday, as I was sending out agent and editor queries and looking over my inventory of (if I can say so myself) very good stories, I need a hobby. Seriously something to do other than write books-- I do some painting. I would love to learn how to weave-but that costs a great deal of money and then you have to find a loom... etc.

It was in the middle of this thought that I need a hobby because I've already written far too many books... that a new character popped up. I've been waiting for him, really. I had already visualized a setting, have a stack of great research books, and was simply waiting for the character-because I'm a character writer. Well, up he popped with his sister in tow. A new genre- a new voice.

Don't think I'll get to a new hobby today. :) Cheers!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5

Today I'm announcing the details of my first mini blog tour. A blog tour is when you visit other people's blog to talk about your book, your characters, your writers journey. Think of it as PR-a way to meet new people and get the word out about your book--in this case Mr. Charming.

The first stop on my five blog tour is Friday- I'll be visiting Sia McKye OVER COFFEE-

Sia was gracious enough to read MR. CHARMING and will give you and her readers a review of the book.

Next week- Monday- I'll be at Linda Kage's blog. Linda interviewed the heroine, Jennifer Sumner. The following week will be at Heather Sands review blog for another review of Mr. Charming. The last two stops are at L. Diane's Spunk on a Stick blog where I'll talk about perseverance and Mr. Charming and finally Morgan Mandel's MMM blog where I'll post an excerpt from the work.

I hope you'll follow me over to these wonderful blogs. (I'll remind you of the dates and link to the pages.) Cheers!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4

I know it's August already, but yikes...the birch tree at the edge of the lake has yellow leaves...and a second tree has a patch of red. Wait! Fall is still what? Six weeks away? I'm still waiting for it to be warm enough to go swimming in the lake... Summer is supposed to be long and hot and boring. But so far this year, it has been quick and cool and I've been too busy to be bored. Sigh. Perhaps I should take a day a week from now until Fall and sit outside with an iced tea and wait for the heat and the sunlight and the boredom to find me before it's too late. What do you think?

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3

Do you online chat? I don't mean instant message people. I mean go into a chat room and discuss stuff.

I have no real experience at it. But I'm going to have to get used to it as on-line chats are part of my Master's program. Our first one is tomorrow night- at the same time as the open chat my publisher offers for readers and authors to mingle. (I'm terrible at mingling and have avoided chats...but now my hand has been forced.)

If you have tips or hints for chat discussions-please let me know. I'm going to be diving in tomorrow night. cheers!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2

Today I'm off to spend the afternoon with some fabulous, witty, highly talented writers. (All my writer friends are fabulous and talented, I just don't get to spend time with all of you.)

Hope your Sunday is filled with sunshine and good fun. Cheers!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1st

Wow- new month already... summer is winding down.It was so nice to hear from so many warm and wonderful people yesterday regarding the release of Mr. Charming. I have the world's best friends. Seriously, thank you all for touching my life and making it a wonderful thing.

I have chores today-and windows to wash- well, at least the inside parts as it is sprinkling outside and I can hear thunder in the distance. Guess the outside windows will have to wait until tomorrow. Which is fine because it has been so dry, the poor plants really need the rain.

Happy Saturday, everyone!